Our Amazing Bodies

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

What do you suppose made King David say that in Psalm 139?

He didn’t have access to the science we do today. Sure, you don’t need to know the details of how our bodies function to see that our bodies function amazingly. Still, I happen to love learning about the science of our bodies.

What about you? Do you like to learn science facts? Are you fascinated by how our bodies work?

Here are some facts that I learned from the video below:

  • Microbes outnumber human cells in our body by a factor of 10:1 [That was news to me.]
  • The medical paradigm for the last 70 years can work to disrupt the way microbes work in our body [I knew that. Bet you do too.]
  • Restoring the balance of microbes in our body is possible through the use of prebiotics and probiotics
  • Not all probiotics are effective

What do you think? Who knew we were more microbial than human?

Click on this link to learn more.

Feel free to message me to discuss this.

 

 

5 Health Benefits of Probiotics You Should Know About

Portrait of happy pretty young woman doctor using stethoscope

You’ve heard of antibiotics. And now “probiotics” are big in the news. If you’re wondering what they are and why you might want them, read on!

“Probiotic” is a word with Greek roots: “pro” meaning “promoting” and “biotic” meaning “life.” The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”

We usually think of bacteria as bad for us, and the wrong bacteria in the wrong place can certainly cause problems. But the right bacteria in the right place can be helpful in many ways. They can keep your digestive and immune systems healthy, help you manage weight, boost your mood, and possibly even keep you feeling and looking younger.

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1. PROBIOTICS AND GUT HEALTH

The most common reason to use probiotics is to support gut health. Research shows that probiotics work to restore the gut back to a healthy, optimally functioning state. Once the gut is in full working order, it can do its job to help support the immune system and maintain normal functions of the gut.

People who have used antibiotics long-term, or those with other gut issues, may benefit from adding a dose of healthy bacteria to their gut. But there are many other reasons to use a probiotic every day. 

2. PROBIOTICS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

The idea that probiotics can assist in weight management is based on the theory that the type and amount of bacteria in the gut has a major impact on a person’s health. One study looking at the effects of probiotics on weight showed that when people used specific strains of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis, they had an overall reduction in fat mass, body weight, and weight gain. In a review of 82 probiotic-related studies, the bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum appeared to be associated with weight loss.

In another review, researchers compiled the findings from 25 randomized human trials with over 1,900 healthy adults, investigating what kind of impact consuming probiotics had on body weight and BMI. They found modest reductions in BMI and body weight. But there was also enough evidence that even these modest reductions could have a positive impact on overall health and reduce the risk of conditions related to BMI and body weight. This study found that taking more than one type of probiotic for more than 8 weeks was most helpful.

Even though some still dispute the idea that probiotics can help with weight management, there are plenty of other good reasons to make one part of your daily routine.

3. PROBIOTICS AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Probiotics have been shown to support the immune system. Researchers recommend starting probiotics at least two weeks before the cold and flu season starts. Some researchers believe that probiotics interact with a person’s genetic makeup to actually change the immune system, making it function more efficiently. Harvard researchers recognized a connection between the bacteria in the gut and how well the immune system functions, but currently they aren’t exactly sure how this connection works.

A study of New Zealand rugby players showed that these athletes had 40 percent fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections when they took a probiotic as compared to those who took a placebo. An extra healthy immune system to help you fight off colds and flu is just one more good reason to take a probiotic.

4. PROBIOTICS AND MOOD

Everyone knows that what you eat has an effect on how you feel physically. But how about mentally? Plenty of us get an upset stomach when we’re worried about something, and there’s growing evidence that the mind-body connection centers on gut health. According to Kelly Brogan, a psychiatrist who uses probiotics to help her patients, “Probiotic supplements and a change in diet can, in effect, rewire the brain.” Another study found that probiotics can help relieve the symptoms of people who are feeling anxious.

5. PROBIOTICS AND SKIN

If you’re still not convinced you need probiotics, maybe this will change your mind: probiotics have been linked to antiaging effects, including skin improvements. You’ve probably heard of spa treatments like putting yogurt directly on the skin. But a study showed that taking probiotics orally can help protect the skin from the sun and help promote the quality of your skin and hair.

Dr. Whitney Bowe, an NYC dermatologist who studies probiotics, uses probiotics to help patients with antiaging and also to help with chronic skin conditions. Looking and feeling younger is a great reason to use a probiotic.

THE RIGHT PROBIOTICS

The human body carries around 100 trillion microorganisms in the gut. How do you know which are the right ones to help you? The studies quoted above have thoroughly investigated the strains of probiotics found to support gut and immune system function, lift mood, manage weight, and feel all-around better. These are the exact strains of probiotics found in PhysIQ ProBio by LifeVantage.

PhysIQ ProBio provides 6 billion CFUs of healthy bacteria to support your digestive system. This product uses proven ingredients as well as controlled-release technology, known as BIO-Tract®, which delivers live probiotics deep into your gut over a 10–12 hour period. The probiotic also includes Wellmune® which helps boost your immune system to bring you closer to your health goals. PhysIQ ProBio includes six different strains of probiotics: Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lacotbacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum. Each strain provides unique benefits to many systems in the body.

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Fiber: Are You Getting Enough?

You probably know that fiber is important to good health, but do you know if you are getting enough?Fruits and vegetables on rustic background

This article from WebMD is not startling new information. It is just the sort of thing I like to remind myself about and thought I would share with you. You may like the suggested meal plan in this article. Connie Suarez

Most Americans aren’t. The average adult only eats 15 grams of fiber per day.

Women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 38 grams per day, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Closing the Fiber Gap

Eating more plant foods — vegetables, beans, fruit, whole grains, and nuts — is the best way and is one of the recommendations from the U.S. government’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

These foods are all naturally rich in nutrients, including fiber, and provide all the health benefits that go along with a fiber-rich diet.

mixed bean saladTop sources of fiber are: beans (all kinds), peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, artichokes, whole wheat flour, barley, bulgur, bran, raspberries, blackberries, and prunes.

Good sources of fiber include: lettuce, dark leafy greens, broccoli, okra, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes with the skin, corn, snap beans, asparagus, cabbage, whole wheat pasta, oats, popcorn, nuts, raisins, pears, strawberries, oranges, bananas, blueberries, mangoes, and apples.

Avoiding refined grains — such as white flour, white bread, white pasta, and white rice — and replacing them with whole grains is a great way to boost the amount of fiber in your diet. The Dietary Guidelines recommend at least half your grains be whole grains, but with all of the whole grain options available now, it’s easy to do even better than that.

Whole foods are the preferred way to get fiber, because they also give you nutrients your body needs.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

All plant foods have fiber in different amounts.

Most fiber is soluble, meaning that it dissolves in water, or insoluble, meaning that it does not dissolve in water.

 

Soluble Fiber (1)Soluble fiber is found in beans, peas, lentils, oatmeal, oat bran, nuts, seeds, psyllium, apples, pears, strawberries, and blueberries. Soluble fiber is linked to lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, regulating blood sugar, and a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Insoluble FiberInsoluble fiber is found in whole grains, barley, whole-grain couscous, brown rice, bulgur, wheat bran, nuts, seeds, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, green beans, dark leafy vegetables, raisins, nuts, grapes, and tomatoes. It helps keep you regular, prevents constipation, and lowers the chance of getting diverticular disease.

Foods high in fiber can also make you feel full longer and curb overeating. High-fiber foods are filling. They need more chewing, which may help you feel full faster.

Fiber is also linked to a lower risk of certain cancers such as colorectal cancer.

Meal Plan Packed With Fiber

This sample menu for a day gives you 37 grams of fiber:

  • Breakfast: whole-grain bran flake cereal (5 grams of fiber), half a banana (1.5 grams of fiber), and skim milk.
  • Snack: 24 almonds (3.3 grams of fiber) and a quarter cup of raisins (1.5 grams of fiber)
  • Lunch: Turkey sandwich made with 2 slices of whole wheat bread, lettuce, and tomato (5 grams of fiber), and an orange (3.1 grams of fiber)
  • Snack: Yogurt with half a cup of blueberries (2 grams of fiber)
  • Dinner: Grilled fish with a salad of romaine lettuce and shredded carrots (2.6 grams of fiber), half a cup of spinach (2.1 grams of fiber), and half a cup of lentils (7.5 grams of fiber)
  • Snack: 3 cups popped popcorn (3.5 grams of fiber)

7 Ways to Add More Fiber

  1. Start your day with a whole-grain cereal that has at least 5 grams of fiber. Look at the list of ingredients to be sure the whole grain (such as whole wheat, whole rye, or whole oats) is first on the list.
  2. Read labels and choose foods with at least a few grams of fiber per serving. A good source of fiber has 2.5-4.9 grams of fiber per serving. An excellent source has 5 grams or more per serving.
  3. Use whole-grain breads with at least 2-3 grams of fiber per slice for sandwiches.
  4. Choose whole fruit over juice. Whole fruit can have as much as twice the amount of fiber as a glass of juice.
  5. Toss beans into your soups, stews, egg dishes, salads, chili, and Mexican dishes. Substitute beans for all of the meat in at least one vegetarian meal per week.
  6. Experiment with international cuisines (such as Indian or Middle Eastern) that use whole grains and beans in main dishes.
  7. Snack on raw vegetables with bean dip or hummus.

It’s best to boost fiber in your diet gradually and drink plenty of water, so your digestive system has time to adjust.

A good rule of thumb is to add about 5 grams of fiber per day, spread throughout the day, until you reach your goal.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on April 07, 2016

7 Natural, Caffeine-Free Energy Boosters You Can Eat & Drink

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It’s no secret: humans have a love affair with caffeine. Almost every culture prizes it for its ability to keep us awake and alert. The United States alone consumes 971 tons of caffeine a year!

So, is this a healthy love affair or is it time to break up? Most studies suggest limiting caffeine intake to 100-200 mg a day (one 5 oz cup of coffee contains 60-150 mg of caffeine). Because caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and a diuretic, symptoms of overuse can include:

  • Feeling jittery and shaky
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fast and/or irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Dehydration

A healthier plan for supercharging energy is in order! No need to feel sluggish and tired–look to these natural energy-boosting superstars:

LEMON WATER

Even mild dehydration has an adverse effect on mood and energy levels. If your excuse for not drinking enough water is because of its lack of flavor, try adding in some fresh lemon juice or any other type of citrus juice. Add a little fresh grated lemon zest if you want to up the ante.

PEPPERMINT TEA

This cooling, revitalizing drink stimulates the trigeminal nerve, which projects directly to the part of your brain that keeps you awake and alert.

WHEATGRASS JUICE

Wheatgrass juice is a source of living chlorophyll (which helps build red blood cells) and is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Try taking wheatgrass as a supplement in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon, between meals, to support your energy levels.

DARK CHOCOLATE

It’s named Theobroma cacao, meaning “food of the gods,” for good reason! A square or two of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) is the perfect treat: it contains the natural stimulant theobromine, similar to caffeine, which boosts your energy and your mood. Dark chocolate also contains healthy antioxidant flavonoids, which may contribute many health benefits.

SMART CARBS

Forget the fad diets! Carbohydrates are vital for boosting energy and mood. They provide fuel for the body and help raise levels of mood-enhancing serotonin. Of course, not all carbs are created equal. Sweets and simple carbs (like fruit juice, white rice and white flour) cause blood sugar levels to spike and then plummet, which can cause fatigue and moodiness. Whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables, and beans are sources of complex carbs, including fiber, that are absorbed more slowly, helping to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.

PROTEIN

Protein makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions in our bodies. It makes up the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in our blood. Many amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) have effects on mood and energy. Tyrosine, for example, (found in pork, beef, chicken, and turkey) boosts levels of two brain chemicals (dopamine and norepinephrine) that can help you feel more alert and focused. Nuts are an ideal high-protein, high-fiber, high-healthy-fat snack. Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts in particular are also high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy.

MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES (MCT)

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are a unique form of dietary fat that are very efficiently converted into fuel for organs and muscles, translating to increased energy availability and endurance. MCTs are found in butter (grass-fed is best) and coconut oil, and can be taken in supplement form as well.

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